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Last night my 13 yr old dd was on an Internet chat room(29 Posts)
I am desperate for advice. Please help.
Last night, I found my dd having a, what can only be described as a pornographic chat, on an Internet chat room.
The language being used and what she and 'the stranger' were asking to have done to each other and describing what they were doing, was absolutely sickening, completely unprintable on here. She was posing as a 20 year old.
I probably couldn't have handled the situation worse as she started lying and screaming abuse at me and I lost my temper. I felt like I could have actually throttled her. My husband took her to my mums as she was starting to push me around and then tried to run out of the house. She is still there.
My mum spoke to her, when she was calm, and she said it was her (she refused to admit it) and she had gone on this website with a friend at a sleepover a couple of days ago. She has a good relationship with my mum, the kind I am desperate to have with get. This breaks my heart, as I have a very complex one with her but that's a whole other thread.
I don't recognise my daughter. She constantly lies, has history of stealing from me, is disrespectful and sneaky. I feel like I'm losing her and, as awful as this sounds and I'm so so ashamed, I feel like I don't want her around. She is making everyones lives miserable. I feel like my family is falling apart. Every day is a battle.
What I read last night was so disturbing...is this what she thinks sex is..? She is 13 ffs!!!
I am desperate for advice about what to do next and how I can handle this a damn sight better than I have so far. Most importantly, I am concerned about her safety. This is not the first time she has made herself vulnerable. Do I come down hard, removing phone, laptop etc..? I want to know where she has seen/heard this and how risky her behaviour is. I would not be surprised if the next step would have been an arrangement to meet. That is where the conversation was heading.
What a difficult one! I really sympathise. I would make the atmosphere in the house atm as happy and supportive as possible - this way she'll be less likely imo to put herself in danger as there's nothing to escape 'from' iyswim. It's much better she learns to avoid internet dangers when she's still living at home with you for support. It would be worse say if she was let's say for arguments sake, 16, living 'independently' but still naive in some ways - and without you around for immediate support.
I don't know what to advise re removal of devices etc - someone should be around shortly with more advice on this aspect of things.
Oh and FWIW - it's great that she's got a good relationship with your mum - for now , and for her safety/ general wellbeing, encourage this as much as possible. Your own relationship with her will improve in time.
can you speak to the school? they will have information about being safe online.
you could ban internet for a weekend
sending her to a relatives seems a bit extreme.
have a chat about internet safety
just keep up the conversation with each other.
can you spend more time with her, take her out. regain your relationship.
let her talk to you in the car, which is meant to be a good way to have a chat as there is less chance of eye contact and/or flouncing, raised voices.
I'm going to pick her up in a minute. Her gong to my mums was not as extreme as it sounds, she is there very frequently.
I have spoken endlessly about safety. What she was writing was sickening, almost rape fantasy. I am bewildered.
It sounds awful but I don't how I'm going to be able to look at her. I feel revulsion.
I know it's a different time now, but when I was a teenager back in the nineties, I used to do this, we'd all sit in my best friends bedroom and type in the most disgusting thing we could think of into the old AOL chat rooms and think it was hilarious, half the the things we typed and read we didn't understand.
We are all well rounded adults now and none of us were particularly early becoming sexually active.
I would love nothing more than to regain our relationship. I have been at home for the holidays, we've been abroad and on a short break in the time. She is like a different person away from friends and outside influences.
Just spoken to my mum. She has been brilliant actually and talked to her about how dangerous her behaviour is and how her constant lying ends up with her being in even more trouble. Apparently she seems to have listened but whether there will be an actual change in her remains to be seen.
13 year olds have big imaginations and hormones in overdrive. The sad thing is that she's able to talk to strangers in a way we never could have at that age. I agree with pp who said its good she has a close relationship with your mum. The bottom line is that if she gets herself into a really difficult situation she needs a safe adult to talk to.
I would certainly be limiting her Internet use to when she's in the room with family but I wouldn't be too hard on her. I dread to think what kind of sick stuff was going through my mind at that age
oh same here, i read Filthy books at that age,
Thank you for the reassurance. It's more that she was in her room alone (I thought she was asleep) saying the most vile things imaginable and, let's be honest, getting off on it.
I think she does know what it means but not what it Means...does that make sense?!
God when I was 13 it was all snogging and an occasional grope, not this.
Thank you so much for writing. I have been awake and in tears all night. Parenting a teen is just the toughest thing ever. I never imagined it would be this hard and id be faced with these issues as such a young age.
I fear for her safety I really do.
It must be really difficult when you feel that you don't like her behaviour v much, but it's so important to keep talking and listening. Once that avenue is shut down its quite difficult to re-open.
Also must be hard to see the great relationship she has with your mum, but try to be reassured by that. She has someone she will be honest with, and will open up to. A lot of teens lose that, and then when something does happen nobody knows until it's too late. Your mum most likely isn't seen as a replacement but rather as a safe adult she can ask questions / advice of.
As for what she was writing about - dont be convinced that she thinks that's what sex is. She's pushing the boundaries, trying on personas, telling horrendous lies. Not every teenager does this, but the vast majority will do at least 2 of the 3 at some point?
Sadly access to the Internet for kids and teenagers means access to porn, totally inappropriate knowledge, and ways of 'meeting' people we wouldn't dream of speaking to IRL. It's terrifying isn't it?
In the long term it's about enabling her to deal with the information overload that's out there in a sensible way.
As a starter, perhaps arrange a fixed time with her this weekend to sit down and discuss why she felt the need to do that. Nothing else. Let her talk when things have had the chance to cool down. It sounds like things got v heated, and whenever anyone (especially young people) feels backed into a corner they will do anything - including lie, swear, call names, to get out of it. The discussion about why it's not appropriate can come later, but to be honest she's probably well aware of that already.
Sorry for your situation, as a secondary school teacher I totally sympathise. 13/14 is the worst age I think - there's so much insecurity, changing body shape and size, pressure to be 'grown up' and at the front of the pack whilst fitting in.
Total cross post with everyone else.
Just to say, don't assume she was getting off on it. She will have been seeing how far she could push the conversation with the person she was talking to.
Like PPs, I dread to think what my parents would have thought if they'd heard conversations I had with friends / seen notes I'd written / read books and magazines I'd read.
Is there any chance she could have read Fifty Shades by any chance? She might just be acting out what she thinks is an adult fantasy.
Teenagers are so difficult, I was one and I've had one.
I am definitely not an expert, OP, but my tactic with my dd was to keep the lines of communication open, which meant sometimes hearing things that I didn't like and not reacting. You are the adult who has use your experience of being an adult to guide your dd to adulthood. At the moment she and her friends are trying to find out what that means, while being given false images of our reality on the media and the internet. She needs to be able to talk with you about ideas. If you talk about sex, drink and drugs with her you have to be prepared to listen to what she has to say on the matter as well as giving your point of view, though not as an authoritarian.
Anyway, that was my approach and in our case it worked and it meant that my dd was able to make informed choices.
Thank you for your advice.
It's so appreciated. Today, she is being lovely, if more than a little sheepish.
I have said that I will talk with her tomorrow because we both need to be calm and less upset.
I have been rehearsing what I'll say, primarily it's her safety I'm most concerned with but I also want to know where she has seen/heard this type of language and imagery.
I will always try to keep lines of communication open.
MrsCraig you obviously need to take this seriously, but I want to offer a perspective that might help you see it as less of a definite catastrophe.
I did this when I was a similar age (and this was in the 90s). It meant nothing to me. It was simply exploration. I was otherwise a very innocent teenager, in fact I didn't have a sexual relationship until I was well into my 20s!
If this is all it is I wouldn't worry too much. The danger only really exists if your daughter were to give contact details to someone she was chatting online with or, worse, arrange to meet up with them.
I wouldn't panic.
I think she is exploring ideas in a "safe" (to her) way. She may or may not have been getting off - it is more likely about saying things that she thinks will get the person on the other end off. Trying to control the situation.
I'd probably apologise to her for panicking and say that you were worried about her and why. (ie don't know who you are talking to/the idea of arranging meet ups/someone finding out who she is while she is exploring).
Of course if it was rape fantasy then you should probably say that you found the idea of someone abusing your daughter (of whatever age - don't say child) very scary.
Don't go in there all guns blazing - that won't help you. Also leave silences - let her open up. You can still claw back a relationship but from experience (of being in her position - though not in this situation) shouting doesn't help.
I can't tell you how appreciative I am of the support and advice I have received.
I frequently feel out of my depth and like I am completely messing up our relationship, scarring it for life.
The advice about cooling off and telling her we will talk about it at a set time was absolutely spot on. I am in a completely different place this evening than I was last night and this morning.
My husband and I thought we'd go for a dog walk with her tomorrow and talk somewhere neutral. I will apologise as well and listen.
She has been a different girl today, let's hope it continues....
I'd probably try and remember also that she'll be mortified that you read it. Incredibly embarrassing for her. I read my DD's 'stexts' to her very new bf way before the age I thought she'd be contemplating sex - but I never revealed I'd read them coz I think she would have done what your DD did - gone off on one. I opened up a general discussion instead, and it all went well. Obviously your DD already knows you've read the content, and I think in this case that's probably necessary, but I'd maybe try and avoid honing in on the specifics of her messages, and concentrate more on general safety, the Internet allowing exposure to all sorts nowadays, etc etc. Just to avoid her being mortified and then backing off from any discussion.
Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine.
I didn't have a father at home, so I may be wrong, but wouldn't she be even more embarrassed talking about this with her father there?
I second talking to the head of year or pastoral manager at her school when she goes back. You'd be surprised how often they deal with this sort of thing. Our school has an after school group run by the local Women's Aid charity talking about safe behaviour online and healthy relationships. It's a really positive group and the kids get a lot out of it. There might be something similar at her school.
We've had a long chat today. It was very calm and collected about what had happened and how she is generally and it seems to have gone well.
I talked to her on her own and, although she is mortified about what's happened, she did open up about why she did it and where she got the ideas from.
Hopefully this is the last time....I really really pray it is.
Thanks for all the advice, you helped me gather and handle something I never dreamed I would have to handle, a lot better than I would have done otherwise.